tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN March 15, 2019 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT
people who are truly committed, who get the issues, who are willing to put something of themselves into it. >> reporter: m.j. lee, cnn, new york. >> and don't miss cnn's presidential town hall with elizabeth warren monday at 9:00 eastern moderated by jake tapper. thanks for joining us. "ac 360" starts now. there is no gentle way to begin the hour except to say that we will try as best we can to tell you about and honor the lives of the 49 people murdered in the anti-muslim terrorist attacks this morning at two mosques in christchurch, new zealand. they were shot and killed in the very place for some perhaps the only place they could come once a week to make sense of the world and make peace with themselves. there's not much we know about the victims at this point. we wish we could tell you more about who they were in life to give you a sense of what has now been taken away. so how then do we honor them tonight? well, at the very least we're not going to insult their memory by suggesting they died as a
result of an isolated individual acting for incomprehensible reasons as if he were some human version of a natural disaster that randomly strikes from time to time. if reports, including the so-called manifesto he apparently left, are to be believed, the man who fired shot after shot after hundreds of men, women and children at prayer, targeted them for a clear set of reasons and was inspired it now appears by a consistent hateful and contagious world view. he did it, live streamed part of it which we're obviously not showing because of who these people were. he did it because of the god they worshipped and because of the threat he seemed to think they posed to the white race. to him, a 3-year-old immigrant girl was a threat, as was her father, as were their neighbors. that thinking is racist and repugnant but to say that it's random or sprang from nowhere, that dishonors the facts as we are learning them, just as it dishonors the lives that were lost. just before the account, an
account believed to belong to the gunman post a link to an 87-page manifesto that plays up the notion of white genocide. the idea that whites are being replaced by others, invaders, muslim invaders. which sounds very similar to the postings of the alleged tree of life synagogue killer who wrote this about the hebrew immigrant aid society. he wrote they like to bring invaders in that kill our people. open your eyes. it's the filthy evil jews bringing the filthy evil muslims into the country. the man who murdered six men at a mosque in quebec city, canada, said he feared muslim immigrants would attack his family. i was sure about that, he told police, that's why i had to do something. it would be easy to dismiss him as a moron appearnd an idiot, b he's not alone. whether it's a synagogue or there or new zealand,
immigrants. it may take a deranged individual to act it out but it seems obtuse to deny these are the messages these terrorists are getting and shedding blood over. that's what the president of the united states did. in tweets he did not call what happened today a terrorist act. although he mentioned it happened at two mosques, he did not acknowledge the faith of the victims by name, say the word muslim or say that the country stands with the muslim community. when asked about the shooter's racist ideology and the seeming rise in white nationalist violence, here's what the president said. >> a white nationalist is a rising threat around the world? >> i don't really. i think it's a small group of people that have very, very serious problems. i guess if you look at what happened in new zealand, perhaps that's the case. i don't know enough about it yet. they're just learning about the person and the people involved. but it's certainly a terrible thing, terrible thing. >> a terrible thing, he called it, but not something that he
knows enough about yet. that's what he said earlier this afternoon. it's rare that the president decides not to speak out against or for something, because he doesn't know enough about it. as a candidate he didn't wait for investigators to weigh in before labeling the shooting of 14 people in the san bernardino, california, terrorist attack. he called it radical islamic terrorism. then referring to the suspects he added, i mean you look at the names, you look at what's happened, you tell me. a short time later he called for a ban on muslims entering the country. so there's that. earlier day senior advisor mercedes schlapp said falsely the president made it very clear that this was a terrorist attack. he only did that after receiving criticism, questions about it. finally calling it monstrous terror attacks during his remarks this afternoon. schlapp said the president has condemned bigotry and racism, which is only true -- in
charlottesville he said there were fine people among them. hate crimes in this country rose 17% in 2017 compared to the year before. newly released data from the antidefamation league shows white supremacist propaganda efforts in neighborhoods and on campus increased 182% in this country last year. of course online each new hate crime spreads worldwide. the new zealand gunman's manifesto references some of them, including the charleston church shooting, the attack at a mosque in london. president trump doesn't seem to make the same connections nor see the same pattern many of these killers openly acknowledge. even be exceedingly generous about his motives and any reason he might have to tiptoe around the subject, you would think he would find a way if not to comfort the survivors, at least acknowledge the faith they were practicing. those remarks were when he vetoed the bill on his border
emergency. central americans, not muslims, but the imagery and implied threat nearly identical. by contrast, here's how president george w. bush spon responded at a local mosque in washington. >> women who cover their heads in this country must feel comfortable going outside their homes. moms who wear cover must not be intimidated in america. that's not the america i know. that's not the america i value. i've been told that some fear to leave. some don't want to go shopping for their families. some don't want to go about their ordinary daily routines because by wearing cover they're afraid they'll be intimidated. that should not and will not stand in america. those that take out their anger
don't represent the best in america, they represent the worst of humankind and they should be ashamed of that kind of behavior. >> it seems like a long time ago that kind of talk. we'll talk about what other presidents, republican and democratic, have understood about hate crimes and how this president compares. we'll talk with a man who lost a friend at one of the maufosques today and speak to a witness. first, though, how this terrible morning unfolded in christchurch, our randi kaye has that. >> reporter: 1:40 p.m. in new zealand and the mosque in the community of christchurch is under attack in the middle of friday prayers. >> everybody just run toward the back doors to save themselves. >> reporter: the shooting lasts 10 or 15 minutes. at the first mosque -- >> it was just continuously shooting and coming inside slowly because he was killing all the people who are in the entrance. >> reporter: shortly after 2:00
p.m., schools in the area are on lockdown. soon after, residents are told to stay indoors. >> plus we hide behind the cars and under the cars and then when we see the firing is still going, we try to jump the fence. >> reporter: in all the chaos, desperation and determination to survive. >> just jumping and people waiting outside, they run away from the mosque. i say what's going on? they say just run away. >> reporter: the shooter appears to fire randomly, both inside and outside the mosque. before he leaves he shoots a woman on the sidewalk from a distance and then moves closer to deliver the fatal shot. >> i was thinking that he must run out of bullets, you know. so what i did was basically waiting for that and praying to god, oh, god, please, let this guy run out of bullets. >> reporter: at a second mosque this man says he saw someone grab the shooter's gun. >> there was one young guy who
usually takes care of mosque and helps in parking and other stuff. so he saw an opportunity and pounced over him and grabbed his gun. >> grabbed the gun from his hands as he was shooting? >> yes. >> reporter: police go into lockdown. boy the time it's over, 49 people are dead. dozens, including children with gunshot wounds, are admitted to christchurch hospital for treatment. >> injuries ranging from gunshot wounds to the head and face, arms, leg and torso and soft tissue injuries. >> reporter: investigators recover weapons at both locations, plus two intro viezed explosive devices attached to a vehicle. police arrest a 28-year-old man now charged with murder. two others are arrested for suspected weapons possession. none of them had been on any security watch list. >> we had -- no agency had any information about these people.
>> reporter: long after the shooting is over, some from inside the mosque still aren't answering their phones, leaving loved ones to wonder are they alive. >> i tried the mosque and saw police outside so we've just been waiting here just to see if our son is all right but he's not answering his phone. >> reporter: randi kaye, cnn, new york. >> a moment ago you heard from a survivor of the second mosque. i spoke with him by phone earlier this evening. >> there was a small room next to the main door and i quickly took cover. i could see him shooting people right from there. he was with the armor raised and he had a gun and he was wearing a helmet with a camera. at that moment, as he was stepping inside the mosque, i was -- i didn't see that.
i just saw when he was trying to step in and somebody from the back, i believe it was a pakistani, and he pounced him from the back and he snagged his gun. he panicked and threw his guns and started to escape. people started chasing him. i think they couldn't handle the gun. by the time he was already out and i had all my friends lying down in a pool of blood. one was shot on his head, the other on his shoulders. i was trying to see where the bleeding was coming from. i was asking him about the wound, but he couldn't tell me. i came out and started to call the ambulance. just then within a few minutes the police came. >> let me ask you, do you know how long the shooting went on for? i mean often it's hard to tell time, you lose a accepts sense in a situation like this, but do
you have any sense how long he was there targeting people? >> six or seven minutes. >> well, it is now saturday afternoon in christchurch and cnn's alexandra field is there for us. what is the situation there right now, alexandra? >> reporter: anderson, we actually just saw a hearse cross through that police tape making its way to that mosque just down the street. anderson, i cannot say it enough. wore used to the scenes of horror and devastation brought on by mass shootings in the united states. they are simply left in shock by it here in new zealand. this is the vigil that has started to form here. you can see the flowers left behind but perhaps most poignantly, that sign which really cuts to the heart of it. this is not new zealand. we're seeing officers with semiautomatic weapons down this street, security still being kept high, but that is a wholly unfamiliar sight in new zealand. what strikes me the most being out here is how incredibly quiet
it has been today. it defies belief that just 24 hours ago or so people were reporting hearing 10 or 15 minutes of gunshots, because you hear almost nothing right now. i've talked to people who are coming by to leave flowers and to pay respects. it's hard for them to find words because they haven't seen this here before, anderson. >> there are still dozens of people in the hospital, last i heard. >> reporter: yeah. there are more than 40 people who are in the hospital injured. we're waiting to hear more about their conditions. we're also waiting to learn a lot more about the people who died inside these two mosques. we know that they come from a number of different countries. you heard the prime minister talking about how many of these are people who chose new zealand to be their home. what i'm hearing from community members is these are people who were embraced as part of this community. i asked a couple of people, did you know anyone who was inside that mosque? one person told me, that is
beside the point. they lived here, this is their home, this is our home. there is absolute heartbreak being felt. another thing a lot of people are bringing their children. a lot of children were in lockdown in their schools yesterday. they had never been in a situation like that before. i asked their parents why they're bringing young kids out here. one parent told me, it's because this is a problem that will be inherited by the next generation. he called it a filthy international disease that has now reached new zealand. >> i appreciate it, thanks. we'll have more now on how today's tragedy fits in the larger pattern president trump does not care to mention. joining us earlier was former fbi supervisory special agent ali sufan. he's investigated probes in the uss cole bombing and the events surrounding 9/11. somebody whose life work is studying global terrorism, what was your reaction when you heard about this attack and who was behind it? >> it's a horrific attack.
i think i had no doubt in my mind that the person behind it will be a white supremacist. this is not the first one against, you know, an ethnic minority conducted by a white supremacist. we've seen that against christians in charleston and jews in pittsburgh, muslims in quebec. this movement, unfortunately, has been on the rise not only in the united states but also in the west and across western democracies. >> which gets me to my next question, because the president has commented today of all days saying that he does not see white nationalism as a rising threat around the world. just in terms of numbers, it would seem to tell a different story. >> it's very disappointing that the president said that. if we look at the adl numbers, 73.3% of all terrorist attacks in the last ten years were conducted by white supremacists and right-wing extremists.
so many of our allies around the world have taken the threat seriously. unfortunately in the united states we are not taking it as a priority. we don't have any legislation to deal with these kind of domesticated groups the same way we deal with islamic extremists, for example. >> so you think there needs to be some sort of a shift in or an enlargening in the way the law enforcement views and calm bats right-wing extremists domestically? >> absolutely. law enforcement have been doing an amazing job in the united states. the fbi have been doing amazing, great operations in arresting and tackling these guys. but, you know, it's all limited. it's all focused on a specific field office here and there. it's not connected to a national strategy or a federal strategy or a priority by the federal government. we don't see that. i think we need to shift that focus when it comes to the white
supremacist. we need to acknowledge its existence, not like the president, you know, just said today. >> you're saying this is a global network of right-wing extremists or white nationalists communicating, what, via online? obviously we think about something like isis as a global ideology that, you know, we have seep pop up in many places. you're saying essentially white nationalism, white extremists, neo-nazis, that is the same kind of global phenomenon? >> yeah, absolutely. they communicate not only on social media, but they coordinate with each other. there is travel patterns, for example, of people going and visiting groups here in the united states. so these networks are operating in plain sights, they are taking advantage of the political divisions and the social divisions that exist. and they are taking advantage of demagogues and politicians,
fanning the flames of hate. >> you know, clearly people who are not supporters of president trump will want to point to his rhetoric as a reason why the u.s. is not focusing on right-wing extremism or white supremacists as much as you say it should be done. is that a fair criticism? >> the rhetoric of president trump definitely is helping to make these hate groups feel more emboldened, as we've seen in charlottesville and other places, as we've seen in the manifest of this criminal in new zealand. this is very dangerous. we need to pay attention to this. but i believe the issue of ignoring the threat of white supremacists has been going on for a few decades. and i think now the chickens are coming to roost. >> ali, i appreciate it. thank you. >> thank you, aroundson. >> ali mentioned the president's
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president trump calling him a symbol of white renewed identity and common purpose. jim acosta is at the white house for us tonight. jim, has the white house said anything about the reference to the president in this so-called manifesto? >> reporter: the president was asked about it and he said he hadn't read it. kellyanne conway was urging reporters to read the entire manifesto and there were parts that said that this killer was an ecoterrorist and so on. she was looking past the language in this manifesto that was describing the president as sort of a hero to people who identify with their white heritage. what was also striking, anderson, in that manifesto was that the killer was using term like invaders and invasion when talking about immigration and the immigration issue. almost the same kind of language that the president was using today when he was vetoing that legislation, rebuking his use of a national emergency declaration to build his wall on the border. so the white house can't
whitewash the white nationalism every time, anderson. >> the president claimed today that white nationalism is not a rising threat in his opinion around the world. >> reporter: that's right. and that obviously stood out as just being contrary to the facts. as we know from recent studies and even fbi statistics in just the last couple of years, that all shows that white nationalism, that right-wing extremism is on the rise not only here in the united states but around the world. if you look at what's happened here in the u.s., whether it's the neo-nazi violence on the streets of charlottesville, the tree of life synagogue shooting last year, even the attempted pipe bomb attack on cnn and other democratic targets, anderson, that is right-wing extremism violence, the kind that is on the rise here in the u.s. and around the world, whether or not the president likes to admit to it or not. >> jim acostas a, thanks. i want to get perspective from k ker stin powers and max boot.
max, what do you think it is about the president that prompts white nationalists and white supremacists to use his rhetoric as a vehicle to promote violence even if it's not what he intended. >> this is a president who's built his entire political career on racism and bigotry. he rose with that birtherism about barack obama but also called for a complete and total shutdown of muslims coming into the united states. he has done and said a lot of things that are very congruent with the ideology these white supremacists have. there's enough overlap that they take inspiration from his words. >> kirstin, usually -- to blame
him in others that use his words in ways he's not explicitly saying. then today just as he's talking about this appearnd on this day new zealand and people around the world are mourning and this person in new zealand did this talking about invaders, the president is talking about invaders. >> right, yeah. certainly they share concern, right? i think that's fair enough to say. i don't think you can blame donald trump for this attack. i think you can blame donald trump for really trafficking in bigotry and islamophobia, wanting to ban all muslims as he said during the campaign. so they have maybe some things in common in terms of how they think about people. that doesn't make him responsible for this, but that doesn't make him not responsible for the things that he says. the idea that the president of the united states can say things constantly attacking different
groups of people and demonizing them and treating them as invaders into the country, facts be damned, you know, i think it just would be silly to say that doesn't have any impact on anybody. and whatever -- however donald trump identifies himself, all we know for sure is that the white supremacists see him as an ally. so there's just no question about that. rosie gray wrote a story a while back around the charlottesville incident interviewing different leaders in the so-called alt-right white supremacist movement. they heard him quite clearly, what he said. they were very energized by him saying there's very fine people on both sides. and he's not a dummy, right? i mean he does understand what he's doing. he does understand when he says these things that these people are energized. he chooses to not stop. he chooses to not condemn them. he chooses to not go out of his
way to identify this threat in this country, which is a large threat, which is white nationalism. >> it's also, max, in the wake of charlottesville as we've talked about often, he had -- there were two opportunities he had in which to just full stop say, you know, this is abhorrent, white supremacists, white nationalism, there's no room for it in america. and yet both times he went off script and said very fine people on both sides. it was interesting to hear george w. bush, to replay earlier what we did, george w. bush several days after 9/11 inside a mosque definitively saying, people who would attack somebody who's wearing a hijab is not america. it's the worst of humanity. >> right. that was a real service to play that clip, anderson, because it's a reminder of how a normal president is supposed to sound. it reminds you how different donald trump is from a normal president. one of the striking things about him is that he has a real double standard when it comes to acts
of violence. we know whenever there's any attack perpetrated anywhere in the world by somebody of the muslim faith, he is immediately on twitter screaming about radical islamic terrorism. but when it comes to something like this, he says, oh, it's a terrible, terrible thing, as if it's a natural disaster, but he never names the thing, anderson. he never says what is that terrible thing, which we know is anti-muslim bigotry, which we know is white supremacist ideology. he doesn't call that out. and by not calling it out, he is tacitly somehow giving a license to it and not -- failing to call it out, he is not devoting the resources of the federal government towards combatting this menace. think of how many efforts we make to stop jihadist terrorism and that's appropriate, that is a real threat. but we don't have a comparable effort in this government to combat right-wing white supremacist terrorism, even though as ali soufan was pointing out in the previous segment, 70% of the victims of
terrorism in this country have been victims of radical right-wing terrorism. that's a threat hiding in plain sight which we're ignoring and donald trump seems to have no interest in tackling that threat. >> kerstin, if the president knows his words are being used by white nationalists, you would think he would want to give a speech and just play it all out naming names of who does not speak for hichl and why he finds things reprehensible. rather than saying i condemn all forms of something, to actually get specific, at least to try to make it clear to people who are using his name to, you know, push their own racist ideology. >> but he's been given opportunities to do this. i mean i remember when the journalist julia ioffe was under
attack because she wrote a piece about melania and she was getting death threats and all these anti-semitic attacks that were absolutely heinous. and he was asked about it. and he said i don't have a message for my fans. so, you know, he had an opportunity there to condemn it. not only did he not condemn it, he accepted that these people are his fans. so i think that you're right, if he wanted to do that, he would do that. he understands what's going on. this is not -- he's not just some clueless person who doesn't see what's happening. he is intentionally not condemning it the way that he condemns all these other things that are happening, like the national emergency that isn't an emergency but he will talk about pretty much everything that bothers him but this. >> and i would say that the way that he winks at or does more than wink at, really encourages this anti-islamic sentiment
finds a receptive audience in a lot of his base. think of what's happened when you had jeanine pirro saying it was unamerican essentially to wear a hijab or the comments with tucker carlson calling iraqis primitive monkeys. so the fact that donald trump is really an islamophobe is something a lot of his base applauds and he doesn't want to challenge their prejudices. just ahead, breaking news from the fbi on all of this. we want to bring you that. even though president trump doesn't believe white nationalism is on the rise globally, there's plenty of evidence to the contrary. coming up, several cases in point. naysayer said no one would subscribe to a car the way they subscribe to movies. we don't follow the naysayers. ♪ ♪
we have more breaking news tonight. the fbi is taking action here in the u.s. after today's attacks in new zealand. there's live pictures from christchurch, new zealand, the makeshift memorial that has been growing by the hour. joining us is josh campbell, a cnn law enforcement analyst. what are you learning, josh? >> we're learning about the fbi's posture in response to the attack there in new zealand. we're told that the fbi is scrubbing its intelligence databases in order to identify any possible u.s. connections to that attack. now, we're also told that the fbi headquarters officials are actually directing field offices to scrub their case files, to go through a lot of these systems in order to determine whether there are subjects here in the united states who may pose a threat, who may fit this mold, possibly attacking religious institutions or conducting some type of retaliatory attack. we're also told in addition to that, they're proactively telling their field office agents to go out and talk to
their sources. human informants in order to gather any information that may help officials in new zealand or here in the united states. lastly we're told that they are closely latched up with officials in new zealand. they provide information on the different threat matrix documents and files. they're told -- we are told now they are working in concert with new zealand officials and will be sharing information as they get it in realtime, anderson. >> josh campbell, appreciate the breaking news. that long manifesto left by the new zealand shooter is filled with anti-immigrant, anti-muslim rhetoric. ideas all too devastatingly familiar despite what the president trump is saying and appears to be a rise in white nationalist attacks across the globe. here's cnn's clarissa ward. >> jews will not replace us. >> reporter: chants on the streets of charlottesville, virginia, echoed in a suspected terrorist manifesto thousands of miles away.
>> we will not be replaced! >> reporter: white supremacists and neo-nazis, who believe their culture is being erased by a growing population of minorities. in chat rooms and on the dark web, they talk about the invasion of muslim migrants, who threaten to replace them. one of their greatest inspiratio inspirations, the norwegian white supremacist who murdered nearly 70 students at a summer camp in 2011, a massacre he said was intended to defend western civilization from a growing policy of multi-culturalism. across the west, the far right is on the rise, bringing with it a vicious optic in hate crimes and terrorist attacks. >> we can even say for the price -- >> reporter: just in 2017, muslims were targeted and killed in a quebec islamic center, and in london's park.
and on a train in portland, oregon, a man shouting anti-muslim slurs fatally stabbed two people. last year in berlin, we attended a rally of hundreds of right-wing extremists. close the border, they shouted, resistance, resistance. their hatred is not reserved for muslim migrants. this man told us a shadowy kabal of globalists controls the world. >> so when you talk about the elites and finance, is that another way of saying jewish people? >> yes. >> yes? >> yes. >> it is. >> reporter: yes. let me say it this way. the banking system for sure, he tells us. banks finance the economy, mainly jews. in his 87-page manifesto, the suspected terrorist praised his predecessors and made nods to the online community that nurtured and shared his extremist views.
but their ideology of hate has creeped out of the margins into the mainstream, and is growing. >> clarissa, in your piece you mentioned the shooter's so-called manifesto, they called out specific influences of hate from other incidences all around the world. >> that's right. he was definitely very much inspired, according to this manifesto, by the events in norway back in 2011 that we talked to, by the terrible shooting in that church in south carolina that we talked to as well. but what also becomes apparent, anderson, when you're flipping through all 87 pages here is that there is a language that supporters of this right-wing extremist ideology use to communicate. there are all sorts of tropes, some of them esoteric historical references to the crusades, to events during the ottoman empire, to serbian nationalism, to internet memes and there are now corners of the dark web,
anderson, where these groups are really engaging in lively conversations with each other using often this kind of coded language which at its root is hatred terrorist ideology, anderson. >> and the web allows people to connect globally who share these thoughts. clarissa, i appreciate it. clarissa ward. it is awful days like that this defy common sense. joining me is a former member of an islamist organization and now a leading critic of that kind of dogma. we're also showing you live images of the memorial outside or near the mosque where people are coming to pay their respects in christchurch, new zealand. what do you believe is behind this growth of far-right hate that we're seeing happen globally? >> well, as one of our previous commentators mentioned, i believe this mirrors the radicalization that we've been speaking about over the last decade within muslim communities. the same processes, the same causes and the factors involved
are now being replicated on the far right and actually governments need to start responding to this. whereas the largest threat in proportionate terms still remains jihadist terrorism and groups like isis epitomize that, the fastest growing threat in the west to distinguish largest versus fastest growing, the fastest growing is now according to our intelligence services the threat of far-right terrorism. >> it's interesting when you hear some of the claims made in this manifesto that, you know, that christians, that whites are being attacked or that muslims are trying to destroy them, that these are invaders, it's the same language in some ways that glu groups like isis uses, that christians and jews are invading muslim lands, that muslims are victims. obviously the ideologies are very different but some of the tropes are the same. >> absolutely, anderson. when you look at the identity
politics involved, the victimhood that is involved, each group believes that they are the ones being the most oppressed. their identity is being eerased. all of the same tropes exist on not just two sides, but also the far left as we recently in media have been waking up to, rising anti-semitism among the left wing as well. radicalization is occurring because our societies are becoming polarized and more and more divided. this, i believe, is the lowest point for muslims in the west since the genocide in bosnia. it's something which we're living here in europe. anderson, the last time i was on your show, this scar was not on my forehead. last month i was attacked, i was racially assaulted in london by a racist. he racially abused me. all of us are seeing it and feeling it around us. it's really important. instead of responding to these incidents with more hate and more anger, that all of us make every effort to hold our
societies together and challenge extremism from any direction that we see it. >> so the fact that you bear a scar as a result of this kind of hate, when you hear president trump question the idea that white nationalism is a rising threat around the world, that he says he frankly doesn't believe that, it's just a small number of people, what do you make of that? >> before president trump was elected, i was on your very show and i warned of how he would radicalize his supporters and followers because he would be unable to deliver on the promises he's made them. a muslim ban was not deliverable. it's not something you can achieve in the west because we're born and raised in the west. and so as a result of those promises he made during his election campaign, the rhetoric was ratcheted up. i said that he would radicalize people to turn into far-right t terrorists. it's very sad to say that i bear one of the examples of a scar to demonstrate that that's actually happening around us. it's a terrible thing. president trump needs to be very
careful with his language. i don't think we should silence our political opponents. i think conversations around immigration and even critiquing islam are legitimate, but how we have them is very important. all of us, just as we challenge the language of jihadists and islamists and just as president trump himself used to say that we were unable to name that ideology, he's fallen prey to the same problem when it comes to far-right extremism. his language and the language of his supporters should be scrutinized just as the islamist language was scrutinized too. >> is there a way to turn this around? >> i think it's sad for me to say this, i think it's going to get worse before it gets better. the populist far-right parties are winning electorally across europe. the violence is increasing. people couldn't believe that in the middle of -- in the heart of london this attack would happen on me. it's something which is going to get worse because of the conditions that are causing it. brexit in the uk is dividing our party. people are -- the division is
palpable. and it's not because of brexit, it's because of the way in which the conversation is happening. unfortunately, i think there's a lot more of this to come. copycat killers. this man himself in new zealand was inspired by darren osborn, the mosque attacker here in london and andres brevik. of course jihadists will try to respond with their false claim that they're defending muslims in doing so. i think, unfortunately, people need to see how bad it can get before they realize the importance of holding our societies together. >> yeah, the response is critical. thanks so much, i appreciate it. we have more just ahead on one of the most chilling aspects of the day. the attacks were live streamed and instantly available on social media. we're not going to show you the live stream. we don't want to give this person, we're not saying his name or showing any pictures of him even. the question is why did it take so long to pull those videos down? us as people.
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as we mentioned, the attacks in christchurch were live streamed on social media sites around the world. the shooter had a video camera as the assaults took place, as the murders took place. as we spent the hour talking about how to combat the rise in extremism, the question of how social media becomes more important. the images of the shooting stayed online for far too long. christin cristina alesci joins me now. how were social media companies made aware of the postings on their site? >> in this case it was the police, which is shocking. >> that's weird. >> it kind of exposes the problem with these platforms. you know, shortly after the shooting, facebook puts out a statement saying new zealand police alerted us to a video on facebook shortly after the live stream commenced and we removed both the shooter's facebook account and the video. we're also removing any praise or support for the crime and the
shooter or shooters as soon as we're aware. look, facebook monitors its platform in two ways, through artificial intelligence, which is machines, and through human facebook executives have been bragging about how good their ai is. they said it could distinguish between broccoli and marijuana. so why can't their ai pick up gunshots? that's a great question. turns out, ai may not be that advanced and it may not have enough people on this problem which is why critics are saying that this is still not a priority for facebook. at the root of the problem we can talk about tech all day long but at the root of the problem, facebook's dna is to make content shareable. so if it puts any restraints on that it's fighting with it's own
dna and that's what people don't understand about this. >> that's the argument that a lot of these internet folks have been making that for a long time but there used to be an argument they made about jihadist videos and finally there's enough pressure and they make an effort to take those down. >> this video, it wasn't just the inability to flag it from the beginning. allegedly the shooter was streaming live for 17 minutes before it was addressed. it's the fact that it kept getting shared. so facebook puts out another statement this afternoon saying it was essentially putting all the copies in a database so that it could automatically flag and eliminate the content. now experts say that's the right way to do it. it's more simple technology and it's more reliable than ai. so again, the criticism is, why isn't facebook doing more? >> right. thank you so much. let's check in with chris and see what he's working on for cuomo primetime.
>> we've seen so many of these situations and the best that can come out of it is that something is made of the opportunity. this is not a secret. this is not the first. this is the worst that new zealand has seen in modern history and the irony that it happened in a place called christ church is lost on nobody but the good and evil of the situation is obvious. what are we going to do about it? where is the leadership going to come from? how do the rest of us respond to come together and get past us and them and move toward we. yes the president has a role. yes he has responsibility. we'll be making the case tonight. >> we'll be looking forward to that about 7 minutes from now. the chief rabbi in pittsburgh. the target of another hate filled massacre last fall. he joins me to talk about new zealand. you wouldn't accept an incomplete job from any one else. why accept it from your allergy pills? flonase sensimist relieves all your worst symptoms, including nasal congestion, which most pills don't. and all from a gentle mist you can barely feel. flonase sensimist.
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a lot of pictures at christ church new zealand. memorial is growing by the hour as people come to express take outrage and sadness. it's not how rare they were but how common such acts have been elsewhere. hate has gone global. it's to local it tears communities apart. that's the horror. the blessing is how it can also bring neighbors together. we saw it far too recently. the tree of life synagogue in pittsburgh squirrel hill neighborhood. rabbi jeffrey meyers congregation. >> you were trying to deal with the unimaginable tragedy there. when you see another attack at a place of worship, an attack on faith, what goes through your mind and your heart? >> well, this morning, you brought me back to october 27th
all over again. complete repetition. i think it was george carlin that called it repeating an event that you don't want to have to repeat. it was like it just played the entire day straight through all over again. >> you taught me when we spoke i remember in the hours after the attack that it wasn't the time to be angry, that it with was the time to focus on the victims. i'm wondering how important is that now and how do you not be angry at something like this? that's a natural reaction to want to be angry. what do you do with the anger? if you channel it toward destructive actions there's nothing productive about anger. i'd think it to be a natural response but in the end it doesn't lead to something productive usually. we have to find good things to
do with the anger to find positive works to do so that the lives of, in this case, 49 beautiful souls lost are not in vain. >> as someone who has lived through pain like this, which is -- it is -- you know, everybody's tragedy is different and the way everybody experiences grief and pain is different but the pain of -- i've talked to parents that lost children in mass shootings and they talk about the pain of the kind of grief after a mass shooting is different than losing a loved one to a disease or another kind of crime. what is your message to the members of these congregations who are reeling tonight and to their friends and their families and muslims around the world? >> i wish i had words to take away their pain. i don't. just as there weren't words to take away the pain of october
27th but i can tell you that the love and uplift of an entire world, i have no doubt will pour into christ church to let all of who suffer there know that they are not alone. there was an entire world holding you up, giving you tight hugs, letting you know that we care and that the actions of one or more individuals does not reflect the type of world that we live in. i don't know what degree that gives comfort but i find that daily, ever since october 27th there's regular daily reminders from strangers far and wide that express this love, that express this comfort to us to let us know that this is on our mind. we need to reach out to not just the muslim community and christ church but our muslim neighbors throughout the united states to say to them we understand your pain. we are here for you, we want to make sure that you feel safe and
that you can worship in your holy spaces and feel safe. >> rabbi meyers, i appreciate your time. thank you. >> thank you, anderson. >> we'll obviously continue to follow this in the coming days. right now i want to hand it over to chris for cuomo primetime. >> very heavy. very important. thank you for your guidance the past hour. welcome to primetime. 49 people massacred for being different than their murder and many more before them here at home. the time has come to stop ignoring an obvious problem abroad and here at home. white supremicism is on the rise. extremely valuable perspective from a muslim leader and former white supremacist. they have words we should listen to and how do we get the leadership to confront this problem? the preside